Although New York is full of amazing cultural events, there may be none more special to music lovers than Janet Cardiff’s The Forty Part Motet, currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum’s Cloisters. This immersive exhibit brings visitors into the musical experience, creating an awe-inspiring surround sound utterly unique and mesmerizing.
The first exhibition of contemporary art at The Cloisters, The Forty Part Motet sets Spem In Alium Numquam Habui (“In No Other is my Hope), by Tudor composer Thomas Tallis, using forty speakers to play each individual voice part. Visitors may stand or sit or wander throughout the Fuentidueña Chapel to experience the polyphonic and solo sounds as the music rises and falls like waves through the space. On a recent visit, just as touching as the music was witnessing the reactions of other museum-goers (many of whom were encountering choral music of this scale for the first time), moved to tears by the overwhelming profundity of being enveloped in song. And don’t worry, we choristers were equally affected by the power of the music and the setting.
The Forty Part Motet is at The Cloisters through December 8th. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this amazing exhibit!